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America 33, Minnesota 28, Us 22, Texas 15, United States 13, Iran 6, Mr. Garrett 6, Ronald Reagan 6, Evelyn 6, Obama 6, Colorado 6, Washington 6, Madam 5, Peru 5, United States Congress 5, Mr. Ellison 4, Bush 4, Freddie Mac 4, Israel 4, U.s. 4,
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  CSPAN    Tonight From Washington    News/Business. News.  

    April 15, 2010
    8:00 - 11:00pm EDT  

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the chair lays before the house an enrolled joint resolution. the clerk: senate joint resolution 25. granting the consent and approval of congress to amendments made by the state of maryland, the commonwealth of virginia, and the district of columbia to the washington metropolitan area transit regulation compact. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to
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meet at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow and further that when the house adjourns on that day it adjourn to meet at 12ction -- 12:30 p.m. on tuesday, april 30, 2010, for morning hour debate. the speaker pro tempore: without the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentlelady from pennsylvania rise? the gentlelady is recognized for one minute, without objection. the house will be in order.
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the house will be in order. the gentlelady deserves to be heard. >> thank you. today is it's my unique honor to congratulate barbara laker and wendy from the philadelphia daily news d, winners of the prestigious 2010 pulitzer prize for investigative reporting. their resourceful supporting observed a rogue narcotics squad resulting in an f.b.i. investigation and a review of hundreds of criminal cases tainted by the scandal. their investigative reporting series in the daily news exposed allegations that a narcotics cop and his informant fabricated evidence so police could obtain warent -- warrants to enter homes and make arrests. this led to appropriate actions that better ensure the integrity and confidence our law enforcement officers deserve. ms. laker and rutterman represent the finest tradition in the profession of journalism. their commitment to journalistic principles, including the
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fulfillment in the role of press can play in showing public failings. it has earned them the well deserved recognition and prize. they have brought excellence to the philadelphia daily us in and the greater philadelphia area and i congratulate them on their achievement and the recognition they have received for their journalistic excellence. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house an enrolled bill. the clerk: h.r. 4851, an act to provide a temporary extension of certain programs and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? without objection. mr. garrett: mr. speaker, i rise today in honor of corporal michael jenkawi, it z. he was a recently fallen army
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ranger, only 23 years old this young man was killed in afghanistan on april 9 when his osprey helicopter crashed just about 200 miles southwest of kabul. michael grew up in my district and after graduating from ramsey high school in 2006 he pursued his childhood dream and enlisted in the u.s. army. his father recalled that even at the age of 3 years old, michael was talking about becoming a u.s. soldier. while pursuing his dream he became a true hero, serving two tours in iraq and two additional tours in afghanistan, with the 75th ranger regiment out of st. benings, georgia, as an active army ranger, he saw some of the most dangerous action. but when he talked about his service to his family of, his father says wie typically just say, i can't wait to get back to my platoon. this young corporal was part of a nation's premier light infantries for. every day he wore his uniform he dedicated his best to this great
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country. he was among some of the best soldiers in the world because of the careful screening process and arduous training that rangers must endure. michael now is survived. he's survived by his mother, serena, his father and step-mother, anthony and carmen, his grandfather, abraham friedman, his sister, michelle, and his step-sister, amy, and step-brother hector. his dedication to his country and to his fellow soldiers represents his tremendous sense of loyalty and selflessness. corporal michael is a true american hero. his country will never forget him. he will never be forgotten by his friends, by his family or by this country for whom he fought. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. are there further requests for one-minute speeches? the chair lays before the house the following personal requests.
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the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mrs. bar dalow of guam for today and the balance of the week, mr. towns of new york for today and ms. jackson lee of texas for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. poe: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into, the following members may be permitted to address this house, revise and extend their remarks and include therein extraneous material. mr. moran for today and april 22, myself for april 22, mr. poe. mr. jones for april 22, dr. burgess for today, mrs. blackburn for today, mr. posey for april 20, mr. rohrabacher for today, mr. garrett for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders
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heretofore entered into, the following members may be permitted to address the house for five minutes, revise and extends their remarks and include therein extraneous material. mr. altmire of pennsylvania for five minutes, ms. woolsey of california for five minutes, ms. kaptur of ohio for five minutes, mr. defazio of oregon for five minutes and myself, mr. polis of colorado, for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. . the speaker pro tempore: the following members are recognized for five minutes each. the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. altmire. mr. polis: unanimous consent to claim the time of mr. altmire. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. polis: i rise today to discuss the consequences of our failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform. on tuesday, lawmakers in arizona passed new immigration enforcement legislation that allows local law enforcement officials to single out undocumented immigrants based
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solely upon a reasonable belief that they are undocumented and imprison them for up to six months. this bill will significantly undermine the efforts that many law enforcement agencies curbing racial profiling by police and increase crime by taking cops off their beats fighting crime and instead using them to enforce federal immigration laws. arizona would force untrained state police officers to take the role of federal immigration agents and make the determination of whether the person is documented or not, based upon their subjected belief or observations and mandates local police to engage in racial profiling and discrimination. this law would mandate the arrest of a person who can't present documentation of legal status. we can imagine all sorts of abuses and unnecessary harassment that will result from an ill-conceived law.
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when one goes to the grocery store, takes one kid's to school, do we take a passport with us? i don't. the true culprit here sadly is the united states congress, not arizona, because we refuse to take action. states are being pressured on all sides to act. states have passed the patch work of laws in an attempt to deal with the pressing issue of immigration. these local laws have unintended consequences that lead to disastrous results as we will see in arizona. the arizona law is a similar ton and only congress can truly solve the crisis. immigration is fundamentally a federal issue and yet we here in congress continue to fail in meeting our responsibility that's allocated to this body and the federal government. until we can pass comprehensive immigration reform, these
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misguided local laws will continue to be passed in vein attempt to address the issue at a local level and we will continue to suffer from the unintended consequences and abuses that they foster. arizona will suffer because of this law. how can we expect to recover from our recession if we scare honest hard-working american families. blanket discrimination is not the way to solve the crisis. in order to present more states to follow in arizona's footsteps, i encourage to act immediately to pass immigration reform. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: janet lte the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. poe, the gentleman from texas. mr. poe: request permission to
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address the house for five minutes. without objection. mr. poe: thank you, madam speaker. a husband, two-year-old son and college degree she earned in the united states. she is also a charged killer and running away from the law and gross miscarriage of justice she has been allowed to live out her life in her native country of peru. and never had to face the justice system for her crimes in the united states. she didn't have to face the consequences of her reckless conduct while living in america. in 1996, evelyn was driving drunk in texas and fell asleep at the wheel and had a head-on collision. she had minor injuries, but in the collision, she killed her 18-year-old roommate and permanently paralyzed a third
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passenger. evelyn was indicted for intoxication manslaughter in texas and she was charged with a felony of drinking, driving and killing somebody. after posting bail, she and her parents snuck out of town and they headed backs to their home country of peru. mezick continues to live a lifestyle in peru without remorse or without reform. a few years ago, she put up a myspace page on the internet and posted pictures of herself drinking and partying with friends. she had a wild party, also drinking and partying with her girlfriends, complete with a male stripper and listed her favorite song. here is a photograph that she placed on the internet with
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some of her friends and she is the one with the drink, partying, having a good time, all the while escaping justice in texas for the crime she had committed. she actually listed on her myspace page that drinking and partying with friends was one of her favorite activities and listed her motto as life is too short so live it up. obviously, she has not changed her attitude or lifestyle. madam speaker, evelyn knows better than anyone how short life is. she is responsible for cutting short the life of another person, lindsay, an 18-year-old honor student who was just beginning in the prime of her life. this is a photograph of lindsay taken shortly before the homicide in texas. she wanted to be a surgeon and thanks to evelyn, lindsay never
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had that chance. after evelyn mezick jumped bail, a warrant was issued for her arrest. the f.b.i. found evelyn who was having a good time on her honeymoon. but a loophole in the ex tradition law said that she would remain free. since 2001, that loophole has been fixed but evelyn is not about to come back to america. she's having too much fun in peru. it's time for evelyn mezick to stand trial for the homicide of this person, lindsay, a homicide that occurred 14 years ago. but for peru refuses to allow the criminal to be extradited. it seems as though evelyn's father is a big shot in peru and using his influence from keeping his girl to come back to the united states.
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it is a disregard between our countries. dad a's reputation is shielding his daughter from criminal ex tradition. this behavior by the peru government is nonsense. by allowing her to live in comfort, they are committing a grave injustice against the family of lindsay and her memory. during this month and next week we honor crime victims like lindsay. her mother has dedicated these past 14 years to get justice, yet no justice has occurred. i urge the department of justice and the state department to press peru to overturn peru's refusal to extradite and bring eff mezick back to texas. let a jury decide what to do, because madam speaker, justice is what which -- we do in the
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united states and there is about time that there is justice for lindsay. and that's just the way it is. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. ms. woolsey from california. mr. burton of indiana. >> request permission to address the house for five minutes and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. burton: madam speaker, it's the end of the week, another week has gone by and the middle east continues to be a tinder box waiting to explode. abraham lincoln said let the people know the facts and the country will be saved. it's hard for us to get the facts sometimes. the president of the united states, mr. obama, this week, had a summit that was supposed to deal with nuclear proliferation and had leaders
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from all over the world there and were talking about how to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons from getting into countries that may cause a problem and weapons that may get into terrorists' hands that may destroy an awful lot of the human race, but he didn't talk about iran. it almost never happens anymore. he doesn't talk about iran. they say there are going to be sanctions put on iran that is going to stop them from developing their nuclear weapons program, but the sanctions never take place. we have been talking about sanctions i know now for at least five or six years and iran just keeps thumbing their nose at the rest of the world, united nations, united states and everybody and continue to build a nuclear weapons program. they say they're not, but they are. and i think everybody in the world knows it. now, this week, the head of the iranian nuclear commission, i think that's the title he has, said that the bashir nuclear
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power plant will be operational in a couple of months, the production of nuclear material within a couple of months. and our military leaders say that iran could have a nuclear weapon in as little as one year and some people say a lot quicker than that. instead of doing something about it, we continue to fool around talking about putting sanctions on them week after week, month after month, year after year and they continue to build a nuclear weapons program. and when the head of israel comes here, mr. netanyahu, the prime minister, the president gives him the cold shoulder and starts telling him if he doesn't do certain things we won't be supporting them as we should be. and i think that's terrible. our only real strong ally in the middle east that has been with us through thick and thin is israel and we should be supporting them right now and doing everything we can to keep the middle east from going up
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in smoke because if iran gets a nuclear weapon, there's no question in my mind that they'll use it if they'll get an opportunity, because mr. ahmadinejad, the president of iran, continues to say he wants as his number one objective to wipe off the face of the earth. and if i know mr. netanyahu, he's not going to let that happen. because we are fooling around, we're still dealing with the possibility of a major conflict over there. how does that affect the middle east? israel is in jeopardy. but if iran gets nuclear weapons and don't do something about it, all those countries around there are going to be intimidated and start moving towards radical islam. that's my view. and we can't allow that to happen. we can't allow that whole area to go down that road. in addition to that, we get about 30% of our energy from the middle east. and if that happens, we're going to have trouble getting
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the oil we need to keep our lights on, to keep the gasoline in our cars and all the other things we do with energy. so i would just would like to say instead of holding these conferences if i were talking to the president, i would say quit fooling around. get with the program. let ahmadinejad and the iranians know we aren't going to stand by and let them become a nuclear power with nuclear weapons. if they continue down that path, we along with israel, will do whatever is necessary to stop them. they need to know that. as long as we are talking and pushing papers around and talking about sanctions, they aren't going to stop. they are only going to stop when they know we mean business. mr. pt, you sure are not giving them the right signal. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. ms. kaptur from ohio. mr. jones from north carolina.
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mr. defazio from oregon. mr. moran from kansas. ms. ros-lehtinen from florida. ms. foxx from north carolina. ms. blackburn from tennessee. mr. rohrabacher from california . mr. garrett -- i'm sorry -- mr. garrett: permission to address the house for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: mr. garrett from new jersey. the gentleman is recognized. mr. garrett: madam speaker, on september 11, 2001, almost 3,000 individuals were victims of the most devastating acts of terror in our nation's history.
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first responders and civilians, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors, we acted towards impunity and the nation still mourns this tragic loss. i would like to specifically remember one of those victims and that is richard j. morgan. mr. morgan, or dick as he was known to his friends was many things to many people. he was an enduring husband to his wife patricia, a beloved father to his four children, a proud grandfather to his seven grandchildren and respected colleague to all that he worked with and cherished friend to those who were fortunate enough to have known him. dick graduated with a degree in civil engineering from manhattan college and m.b.a. from new york university and went on to serve in the national guard. then in 1967, he and patricia settled down in glenn rock, new jersey and became active participants in their community and local church as well.
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41 years, dick worked with conn edison and worked from a splicer to serving as vice president of emergency management. in that capacity that dick raced to the world trade center on that fateful tuesday morning. and like so many other brave first responders, dick responded to the call of duty. he ran into the smoke and the fire and sadly, he was lost when the north tower collapseed at 10:28 a.m. he was coordinating the emergency response along with the fire department of new york with their chief of department. today, dick is the only civilian memorialized with the fire department of new york randals island training facility for given his life on september 11, 2001. . he was not nominated for the hero's medal of valor and had
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been classified as a visitor on the memorial instead of a first responder classification that he deserved. so over the past few months my staff has worked with the department of justice to ensure that this heroic first responder was probably memorialized. and last month i was happy to hear that the family has been assured that their request has now been granted. i'm thankful to the department of justice, to my colleagues from new york and the many others who insisted in swiftly rectifying this oversight. proper recognition for our fallen heroes is but a small token of gratitude in when compared with the enormous sacrifice. whether at the world trade center, on the battlefield or in the communities, our soldiers and first responders, they all take a great risk to keep us safe and they stames pay the tremendous sacrifice. what can we here do in return? well, we can remember their service, we can live worthy of their sacrifice and take every single opportunity to thank them and the ones that they leave
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behind. on behalf of a grateful nation, i express my sincere gratitude to dick morgan and pledge to his family that his example will not be forgotten. dick will always be remembered as a man who epitomized valor, cherished opportunity to serve and actively made his community a better place. he earned the respect of so many through his hard work, through his commitment and his genuine interest in the -- in the lives and fates of others. i'm proud to represent dick's family here in congress and our entire nation can be proud of the sacrifice of this american hero. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison, is recognized for 60 minutes as the he is dig -- designee of the majority leader. mr. ellison: madam speaker, i'll claim the time for the progressive caucus tonight. i have some boards that are going to assist me in the presentation.
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so we'll just take a very brief moment to get set up here. the speaker pro tempore: the the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. ellison: madam speaker, my name is keith ellison and i am here yet again on behalf of the progressive caucus to talk about a progressive message. a progressive message, the idea of which, madam speaker, is to help convey to the american people that there are a body of members of this united states congress who care about making america fairer, more inclusive, greater respect for due process of law, promoting peace around the world. there is a progressive caucus in the united states congress. many members are a part of it.
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over 80. and we are advocating policies that would make america at peace with its neighbors, promoting peace around the world, being a force for bringing nations together. we are talking about immigration reform and i'm joined today by one of our very best speakers and freshman leader here in the congress who has distinguished himself very early on in many areas by mr. jar odd polis who i'm going to yield to for just a moment. but tonight, madam speaker, we're going to be talking about taxes because today is tax day. we're going to be talking about taxes from a progressive point of view. the point is that the united states congress has been doing some tax cutting on behalf of the american people, but not from the perspective of the people who have been most blessed among us. from the perspective of the
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hardworking folks who have to put it down every day to make it. those folks who could use a small tax cut to make sure that they can meet their needs, groceries, things they need around the house. as a matter of fact, madam speaker, you pay fewer taxes under president obama than under president bush but this may not apply to the most wealthy americans but it applies to the vast majority of americans. and so it's in this spirit today that we're going to be talking about a progressive message as we discuss progressive taxation which are the dues that we pay in a civilized society to make our society function properly. and so i'd just like to yield to the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis, who has joined me tonight. i yield to the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: i thank the gentleman from minnesota. and people know, taxes are relative to one's income. i've heard from many people and of course in this recession
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people are hurrying across the board, from the -- hurting across the board, from the wealth iny to the poor. and even those -- wealthy to the poor. and even those who pay the highest amount of tax who say, i'd gladly pay the clinton taxes if i had the income i had. what you pay is reltive to how much -- the highestvate 35%. the bush tax cuts will return to 39.6%. that's the same rate it was when people were doing very well during the boom years. taxes are the investment. they're the price that we pay for the freedoms that we enjoy in our country. they're what fund our public projects and, yes, worthy and unworthy, i as a taxpayer wasn't happy that my taxes were going to fund the iraq war and continue to. but that's what our representative system is all about. and i know there's many americans out there today who aren't happen i -- happy that their taxes might go to help provide health care for those can't afford it. but the fact is, the price we
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pay for the freedom that we enjoy as americans and we enjoy more freedoms as americans, to people all over the world, the experiment begun by our founding fathers has evolved over the years and become something that every one of them would be proud of having given birth to. we invest in many public projects. the nature of a democracy, each and every citizen in, in fact, each member of congress is not likely to agree with every item that's spent. i know i don't. i voted no on some. i know my colleague from minnesota voted no on some. our colleagues and friends on the other side of the aisle voted against some of those. but this is a representative democracy. we here in congress each serving and being elected by our constituents are doing our best to allocate those dollars in a way to provide for the common good. the very concept is conceptualized so effectively in our founding documents. that's what we do every day. this being tax time, everybody
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is reminded of how much they have to pay and i think it's also important for us to remind them how much they get. the fact that people all over the world would risk dying, going across the desert, to try to live in our country, what america stands for, globally, in terms of freedom of unprecedented levels of prosperity that our middle class families enjoy. that's what the american dream is all about. that's what our country is all about. and, no, it's not just the government that establishes this dream. but what it is, it's a rule of law and it's a government formed among men, governing by the consent of the governed to provide for the common good. won't always get it right. but that's the investment that we're making when we pay taxes. and even though i oppose the iraq war and didn't like to see my tax dollars go there, even though i continue to oppose the escalation of troops in afghanistan and don't want to
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see my tax dollars going there, i know that the investment i make in paying my taxes is one that i can be proud of as an american. knowing that it goes through title 1 to serve schools across our country that serve at-risk youth, knowing that it goes to help make health care more affordable for american families, knowing that it goes it help that people who are unemployed don't lose their homes and can still put food on their food for -- tables for their families. knowing that our seniors have health care, to know that our young people have health care and we're making it more accessible for people in the middle. to know that we're funding our roads, our bridges, our infrastructure, our arteries of commerce that empower the private sector to produce the prosperity that has made america unique. that's what it means to pay taxes. that's why every year in april when i pay mine i feel that same lump in my throat and in my belly as every american, but i know deep inside that i would
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not trade it for anything else. and i am proud that i have this opportunity to be able to contribute to this greatest of the great countries. and help america continue to be a beacon unto the nations and a light for future generations. i thank the gentleman from minnesota. mr. ellison: i thank the gentleman for yielding back. i got a little misty there listening to the gentleman from colorado, i think just made an excellent statement about the importance of paying taxes in our society. none of us wants to fork it over on tax day. we all kind of do it feeling like, gee whiz, i wish i could keep this dough. but the fact of the matter is, if you like great roads, if you want e.m.s. service, if you want the united states military to protect the borders of this country, if you want police, if you want fire, if you want public schools, if you want head start, if you want medicare, if you want tricare, if you want social security, if you want things like bridges and
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infrastructure and many other important public services, taxes are what we have to pay. i agree with the gentleman, you know, there are things that our tax dollars go to that i wish they didn't go to. but you know what? the fact is that we liven in a representative democracy and that's just the way it is. that's why we get out and he again a -- we engage in the public debate to argue how and where our tax dollars are allocated but never forget, not even for a moment, that taxes are the dues that we pay to live in a civilized society. the fact is, though, democrats have been and progressives have been pretty good at cutting taxes for americans. here's a quote from somebody who was an adviser to ronald reagan. i know my friends on the -- in the republican caucus love to brag about ronald reagan. here's what this gentleman, mr. bruce bartlett, had to say about this issue. federal taxes are very
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considerably lower by every measure since obama became president. now, you would think the way they bang on president obama that he's just a tax and spend liberal. that's what they'd like to tell you. but the not true. the fact is, taxes targeted to working class people can help stimulate the economy. what we're opposed to from the progressive caucus is giving tax cuts to the wealthiest americans which create deficits which all the rest of us have to bear. but the obama administration and the democratic caucus in congress have helped to lower the burden americans so that americans can take care and pay for the things that they need. as i said before, here's an important word i'd like to draw folks' aeanings to. you pay fewer taxes under president obama than you understand president bush. note, this may not apply to the wealthiest americans.
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but if you're working hard every day, if you're putting it down every day, if you're working hard for a living and you're part of the great middle class, you pay lower taxes than under george w. bush and that is an important thing to bear in mind. every congressional republican voted against -- against a tax cut for 95% of america. let me just say it one more time. every congressional republican voted against a tax cut for 95% of american families. so we're not talking about who's for tax cuts and who's against them. we're talking about who's for tax cuts for the middle class people and who's for tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. i just want to be clear, i have friends who have been very blessed and have economic wealth and i think that's just fine.
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i'm not against that at all. but i do say that, to whom much is given, much is expected. that goes to taxes as well. and so i'm not in favor of crutting the taxes of the wealthiest americans. i'm in favor of tax cut -- cutting the taxes of americans who are struggling hard every day to put food on the table for their families. that's who i think needs a tax cut. let me just tell you one more thing about that. when very, very, very well to do people get a tax cut, they don't need the money. it can sit up in an account somewhere, but when working class people get a tax cut, working class people put that money back into the economy and that means that if they're using their little tax cut to go out and purchase an item that they need to help their family, whether it's electronic good or whether it's a new washing machine or whether -- no matter what it is, they're putting that machine into the economy. let's just say they buy a new
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washing machine. then somebody, some local retail who are sells washing machines is going to make a sale. if that sale is made they're going to have revenue for their retail outlet which means they're going to be able to keep my nephew and yours on the payroll at that particular retail outlet. and then the manufacturer may be able to stay in business as well. so the fact is that when working class people get a tax cut, it actually has a stimulus -- stimulative effect for the economy whereas if the very well to do get a tax cut like the republicans like to do, that really doesn't help the economy very much because the very definition of being rich is, you don't need the money so you might spend it and you may not who knows? but working class people use those tax cuts and so when every congressional republican voted against the tax cut for 95% of americans, as i said, when every congressional republican voted for a tax cut against 95% of
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american families, i think the american people ought to know that because the people who claim to be the big tax cutters really are not very good at cutting taxes for people who actually could use a tax cut. they're just good at cutting taxes for people who really don't need one and who have plenty of money anyway. . so let me go through a few things. since coming to congress and assuming the presidency, we have made jobs, cutting taxes and investing in the future prosperity of our country. this year, millions of american working families are paying fewer taxes and getting record refunds. this is because of the american recovery and reinvestment act known as the stimulus bill, but quite separate from the bailout, which happened under george bush's watch. over 1/3 of the recovery act is tax cuts for the middle class.
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over 1/3 of the recovery act is tax cuts for the middle class. the recovery act has already provided $160 billion in tax cuts to american families and businesses. nearly $100 billion, nearly 100 billion of that has gone directly into the pockets of working families. and this year's average refund is about $3,000, about a 10% increase over last year. that's a good thing for families who need money to keep on moving. federal taxes, as i have just read a moment ago from a former republican advisor to ronald reagan, federal taxes are very considerbly lower by every measure since obama became president and the republican
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caucus bangs on president obama all the time. but the fact is, he's better at lowering taxes for working-class people than george bush was. this is by their own expert, bruce bartlett. i wonder how they're going to try to misrepresent that. since last year, this democratic congress and president obama have enacted more than $800 billion in tax cuts for working families and small businesses. making work pay tax cuts. that gives 95% individuals. making work pay. the well-to-do in our country, they get tax cuts all the time but what about people who are working hard every day? this tax cut for 95% of working families got tax relief. it was an important thing. $400 for the individual and
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$800 for joint filings. that is very important. here is another one. child tax credit cuts taxes for families in more than 16 million children by reducing the amount of minimum earned income use to calculate the tax credit from $3,000 from $-- about $12,000. earned income tax credit, very important anti-poferte. expands the credit, increasing it for families with three or more children. this is also very important. the earned income tax credit. active, anti-poverty program which helps working people and even low-income people. it's a good thing. the american opportunity tax credit, $2,000 500 in tax credits to help additional four million students attend college. now, the university doors and college doors have to stay open to the american middle class
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and the poor. but if you allow the republican caucus to stay in charge, those doors are slowly going to be closed. but under the democratic majority and under the progressive leadership of president obama, we have seen the american opportunity tax credit, up to $2,500 in tax credit to help an additional four million students attend college. this is a progressive thing. it's a good thing brought to you by the democrats. alternative minimum tax relief. this protects 26 million middle-class americans being hit by the a.m.t. in the 1970's, members of congress said there are some folks who aren't paying any taxes at all, so we're going to have something called the alternative minimum tax to make sure everybody pays something. because it wasn't indexed, it made it so that people in the middle class were getting hit.
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under the leadership of president obama and nancy pelosi helped to protect 26 million middle-class americans being hit from the a.m.t. very, very important. first-time home buyer tax credit, increases it to $8,000 and removes the repayment and removes the repayment requirement
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is that tax refunds are already up 10%, pushing average refunds to a record $3,000 per taxpayer. that is huge. so congress has enacted job-creating tax incentives to spur hard-working americans, and accelerate write-office so they can expand and hire more. one of the tax incentives is to create jobs, $10 billion over 10 years. it involves a lot of things which i will talk about in a
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moment. we need to understand that while taxes are the dues that we pay to live in a civilized society, the people who represent the majority in this congress are actively trying to reduce that burden so americans have extra money in their pocket, not so much the well-to-do people, but the fact that folks are working hard every day on the table. maybe the washing machine broke. these kinds of things are going to help out. and i admire those americans who are well-to-do and wealthy and maybe not among that 95% who got a tax cut. but their good fortune is because of the public and the taxes people before them have paid. the people who pay the taxes for roads and bridges. the people who pay the taxes for our public universities and colleges. the people who pay for head
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start, social security. people who pay for fire and roads, firefighters, police officers, to make our society a good place to live. these folks understand that and so they don't complain about paying taxes. they pay them because they know it's what we need to have a society that is free from foreign aggression, that our streets are safe, that there are firefighters out there looking out for americans if they should have a problem with a fire in their home or business. we understand. so this is not a matter of dividing well-to-do americans from the receive -- rest of us, look, middle-class folks need a tax cut, too. the wealthy have gotten tax cuts and they brought us this recession that we are trying to remerge from now. if you invest in the middle class through tax cuts, it will pay dividends in the long run
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and we are already starting to see job unemployment decrease and won't belong before we have positive job growth because of these important tax relief policies that democrats, led by president obama and nancy pelosi have helped to enact. so let me move on and talk a little bit about my own state of minnesota. minnesota is a state where people work hard every day. we are very proud. we have the highest voter turnout in the whole country. i'm proud to announce that only one state has a greater response to the census than our great state of minnesota and that is wisconsin. we are coming to get you, wisconsin. we want to be first. but the fact is, i'm so proud to be from the state of minnesota. it's a wonderful place. and no prettier place than minnesota, especially in the springtime.
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but i want to talk about the american recovery and reinvestment act which significantly cut taxes for minnesota families, too. two million families in minnesota, that's the number in minnesota that will receive a tax cut of $400 or $800 up to a joint filing couple under the making work pay tax credit that is included in the recovery act. also, 895,000 individuals are the number of people in minnesota living on social security and supplemental income and veterans benefits who receive a one-time payment of $250 under the recovery act. and also 157,000 families in minnesota are the folks who benefited from the federal tax credits for college expenses. minnesota is a high education state. we have some of the highest scores in the nation and take education very seriously in the
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state of minnesota. it's a great benefit that so many families will be able to benefit from the federal tax credits for college expenses. and so in 2009 and 2010, families in minnesota with children in college will be able to claim a larger federal tax credit and that's a good thing, even for me and my family since i have two kids in college right now and you know how tough that can be. there are more than 41,000 students in minnesota. 41,000 students in minnesota who previously did not benefit from the college tax credit, but will now benefit as a result of the recovery act. that's a lot of people. a lot of young people saying, you know what? i have enhanced my skills, developed my mind and can contribute to this society of ours in a greater way because democrats believe in reducing and offering tax credits for me to be able to do what i got to do. 182,000 children in minnesota
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will benefit from expanded child tax credit that is included in the recovery act. and children need tax relief, too, because that's where their parents can get them things they need, clothes, school supplies. children need their families and as long as it's responsible and paid for and makes sense, it's a good thing. i don't want to go too far, because the fact is, while i believe in cutting taxes for people, i just want to remind folks that taxes are the dues that we pay to live in a civilized society, taxes keep our roads nice and taxes pay to fill up the potholes like places in minnesota. taxes pay for police officers, firefighters, public works' employees, our soldiers, so they can defend our country and
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taxes go to pay for head start to educate our children and at universities and at the k through 12 level. taxes aren't bad. that's the republican thing to say taxes are punitive. i don't believe that at all. i don't believe that for a second, but i do say that when we can responsibly cut taxes to the middle class, we should do so. we should do so. that's common sense. and the democrats have proven that because we have done that and the fact is, we didn't get any republican support to do that. . as i remind you, if you just tuned in, every congressional republican voted for a tax -- voted against a tax cut for 95% of americans. i don't know how they can look at the american people with a straight face but i'm sure they'll manage somehow.
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let me also talk about minnesota businesses. in minnesota, we believe in entrepreneurship, we believe people should allow their creative talents to bring their services and goods to the market so other people can participate in those and enjoy those things for a fair price and therefore those businesses can hire people and we can really have our economy working well. so i just want to mention that, you know, the recovery act significantly cut taxes for businesses as well. about 385,000 sole proprietors, 385,000 sole proprietors in minnesota that filed with the i.r.s. in 2007. the fact is the recovery act provide relief for those businesses by providing, one, tax breaks for small businesses, expensing and bonus appreciation, businesses to purchase new capital and equipment, providing small businesses with five-year net operating loss carryback and providing small businesses with
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estimated tax payment relief and excluding 75% of the gains on small business stock from capital gains purchased in 2009 and 2010. finally providing businesses with relief from paying taxes on income resulting from discharged debt. minnesota businesses again, about $1.1 billion is the amount of additional dollars in the hands of consumers in the state of minnesota as a result of making work pay. that means if you take that tax cut that 95% of all americans benefited from and you bring it right to the great state of minnesota and you ask yourself, how much does that mean to the minnesota economy? that's $1.1 billion that our families have to be able to spend on their needs so that they can make ends meet and they can put that money into the economy to help bolster sales for our businesses that are out there. moving right along, about 538
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units, 538 housing units are being constructed in minnesota under low income housing tax credits exchange program that was enacted as part of the recovery act. that's a lot of places for people to live and that's a very, very big deal. i just want to say that i think democrats, who responsibly cut taxes on the middle class, not the irresponsible tax cuts for the well-to-do who don't need a tax cut but democrats responsibly cutting taxes for the middle class are helping america get stronger and better after an eight-year nightmare where they cut taxes for the wealth yers, didn't enforce regular rations, allowed -- allowed wall street to run wild, allowed predatory mortgage lending to take place,
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we took care of that, democrats to the rescue are making sure this economy is coming back strong, in part by responsible tax cuts to the middle class and i'm proud of that. let me move on to just talk a little bit about -- just pose a question to people to those who may be listening, madam speaker. the question is, are you better off on tax day, there's a group called third way that prepares a report on are you better off on tax day? here's what they found. third way compares three average middle class families' tax returns from 2007 to the the 2009 returns under president obama. they posed the question, is the average middle class family better off under obama's middle class policies or those under bush. they compare the tax credits
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offered by the bush administration and the republican congress to those offered by obama and the democratic congress. in every case, the answer was, yes, americans are better off with president obama in the white house and democrats in congress this third way report, which i hope people will take a look at, says definitively on many measures that americans are better off, democrats are better at managing the economy, we're better when it comes to deficits, better when it comes to tax cuts, better when it comes to jobs, better, better, better. if you're a very super-rich person you may have to pay taxes you didn't have to pay before but the fact is, you have better services for it, and you have the pride of knowing that you're making a contribution to your fellow american, improving the quality of life for everybody, not just yourself. i think that makes a huge deal for people because i think americans, even well-to-do
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americans, are extremely patriotic and want to know that their fellow americans are doing well and that the ladder of opportunity has not been pulled up as republicans always try to do but that it's still there for americans who want to work hard and climb that ladder, from the poor or middle class up to a higher income level. i just want to talk about some results from the tax cut. this citizens for tax justice report says the following. the analysis notes that 53% of americans believe that the president has kept taxes the same. 24% believe the president has raised taxes and only 12% believe the president has cut taxes. but the fact is, he's cut taxes overwhelmingly. this is part of the spin we're trying to correct tonight. by analysis of the citizens for tax justice, tax changes
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embraced by president obama, they find 98% of all working family, i just said 95%, but according to this think tank, it's higher than that. the citizens for tax justice also observed one reason why broader american public may not realize that the president has cut their 2009 taxes is that the tax cut that affected most people took effect gradually by reducing withholding on wages. you see a little more on your paycheck every week, but it's still there, still there for you to be bet you are off and do what you did -- do what you need to do for your family. this center for tax justice also says that in addition tomaszive middle class tax cuts, the recovery act made direct tax payments to a large population of americans, including social security
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recipients and extended unemployment benefits to out of work americans. this report, which i'll hold up so people can see, this is kind of small type, but i hope folks can get -- can look at that see right there? it says president obama cut taxes for 98% of working families in 2009 and mr. speaker, i think that's pretty good. i think that that's all right. and i think that's something to be commended, something to be proud of. mr. speaker, as i wanted to keep saying, i'm talking about cutting taxes, i don't want any folks tuned in tonight to get the impression i'm against taxes. i'm in favor of paying the dues we must pay in order to have a civilized society. i don't want people to pay more than they should pay and i want every dollar to be used responsibly. i'm totally -- totally against
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any wasteful spending or boondoggle and i'm against the spending we did to fight the iraq war, which was offered to us by the -- by president bush and the republicans. they told us there was weapons of mass destruction and everything else. none of it was true. that was an enormous expense on the american people, not to mention loss of life, both americans and iraqis. but the fact is, i don't like every expenditure the government makes, but the fact is, in the democratic society, we have the majority rules, we elect the president and trust that that decision, those decisions will be made responsibly. they're not always done that way. but i wouldn't change this system for any system in the world. the fact is, mr. speaker, tonight, we're talking about taxes. tonight -- today is tax day. many americans are probably still rushing out to the mailbox to make sure that that tax -- that tax filing get into the mailbox and gets stamped
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tonight so they can get their taxes in on time. and maybe the ones who are the early birds have already done that a long time ago and taken care of that business. but the bottom line is, mr. speaker, that today, tax day is a big deal in america. it's the day we can stop and think about how lucky, how benefited we are by being in this great country of ours where we have a great constitution that protects our liberty. we have a great public employees who work hard every day to make sure americans have good services, teachers, firefighters, police officers, people who work in head start every day to try to help the children, people who really get out there and give all they have to help americans, it's a great day to just think about how lucky we are as americans to have the medicare system, to help our seniors, tricare, to help our soldiers, and now,
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we're going to have over 32 million americans get health care under the newly passed health care bill. these things, our taxes go to these things and i'm proud they do. it means we live in a society that has compassion. it means we have a society that's responsible, that's going to meet the needs of all american, and it means it's not the way the republican caucus did in the past, cut the taxes for the wealthiest americans and create massive deficits. but in a way that's paid for. and that broad cross-sections of america benefit from. this is the kind of tax cut we need. these tax cuts would benefit large percentages of americans.
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every congressional republican voted against a tax cut for 95% of american families. and these 95% of americans, i bet they'll be remembering that come november. anyway, the fact is, this is a very important day, this is tax day. this is a day we think about our investment in our country. this is a day we say, you know what, not everything the government spends money i'm -- money on i agree with, but i'm happy to live in america and benefit from this great country. it's not free to live in america. if you have the income to help bay the -- pay the dues to pay the cost of this society, you should help. it's not a punishment. some of our republican caucus friends will say it's a punishment, taxes are evil or they're bad or something like that. they shouldn't be higher than they're supposed to be but they ought to be high enough to pay for the government so we don't
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have massive deficits. yet they have created massive deficits democrats are trying to dig us out of right now. as i begin to wind down, signaling to my republican caucus folks, if they're going to take the rest of the time, it might be a good time to think about getting up, the fact is, under democratic leadership, we passed a bill that would promote hiring incentives. we promote health care legislation that would promote health care in small businesses to get tax credit in order to cover americans to offer them health care. we have offered tax cuts to 95% of americans. democrats believe in middle class tax cuts that are responsible and paid for. democrats believe that it is progressive to put money in the hands of americans when it doesn't explode deficits, when it doesn't -- and when it does
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help spur nand and when it does help americans meet their daily expenses. we're not in favor of tax cuts who didn't need them and didn't ask for them but we're in favor of responsible tax cuts to middle class americans. on tax day, i joined with you the other day in signing my tax form. i owed this year. but as i said good-bye to my money, i knew that if it was going to take care of a kid who needed a bill or get a young soldier the equipment they need to defend the country or help this country do better or be more effective, i'm willing to do that because i think it's my duty as an american to do so. with that, i yield back and i thank the speaker for the time. .
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the speaker pro tempore: members must address their remarks in debate to the chair and not to a viewing audience. without objection, the five-minute special order of the gentleman from texas, mr. burgess is vacated. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentleman from texas, mr. burgess, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. burgess: i thank the speaker for the recognition. i thank the leadership on my side for allowing me to talk this hour, mr. speaker. it is april 15. it is the day that we file our taxes or in some cases, we submit a request for an extension. in the interest of full disclosure, i submitted a request for an extension, i
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will tell you when i was a physician, my taxes are a great deal more complicated than they are today. but today, it is difficult to collect those papers and deliver to your accountant in order they may accurately and correctly assess your taxes. and that is one of the things that has bothered me. one thing to pay taxes. the previous gentleman said it is one of our obligations for living in a free society. i don't dispute that. i dispute the level he wants to see us taxed. but at the same time, i don't see why it has to be so hard. and i would like to give people another option and that's what i want to talk about this evening. but actually, first, i need to talk about a little bit what we just heard. it was a wonderful story, but,
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mr. speaker, if we are going to tell stories, we ought to start out with once upon a time and then they lived happily ever after. the gentleman was correct in quoting a poll saying 12% of all americans believe that president obama has cut taxes. well, what do you think is the reason for that? maybe it's because in the last 15 months taxes in this country have increased by $670 billion and counting, according to the committee on ways and means. and many of these tax hikes include taxes on people bhom the president said during his -- whom the president said during his campaign for the presidency, people would not see a tax increase. what are some of those? well, the previous gentleman alluded to the fact that we just passed and the president
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signed a massive health care bill. but really, if we were honest in our discussion about that bill, we would call it a massive tax increase bill, because honestly, that's what it was. didn't have that much to do with health care but had a lot to do with taxes. there will be taxes on individuals who don't purchase a government-approved insurance. and guess what? that tax will fall on some americans who earn less than $200,000 a year violating the pledge by president obama when he was campaigning for the highest office in the land. for most people that is not a great surprise, because there were so many promises made that were not kept. i'm going to take public financing for my presidential campaign. remember the great prps hoax that was played upon the american people. we'll create a health care bill and we will invite c-span in so you can see who is standing
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with the special interests and who is standing with the american people. but you didn't get to do that, did you? because that wasn't another promise that wasn't kept. promises to not raise taxes on people earning less than 200,000 was one of the first casualties of this administration and the sad thing is, it continues to be a casualty of this administration. what about the tax on employers who fail to comply with the government nurns mandate. that might fall on some people who earn less than $200,000. it won't happen for a couple of the years, but what about the 40%, 40% excise tax on some health plans that cost over a certain amount of money? that's the health care plan that cost over a certain amount of money but may be long to someone who earns under $200,000 or a married couple who earns under $250,000.
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what about the ban on some of the over-the-counter drugs who have a health reimbursement account? what about the increase on medicare tax on wages and self-employment income and the imposition of 3.8% tax on individuals who earn over certain amounts of money? these are significant changes that were in our tax code but passed in the health care bill. they were hid hen in this bill we passed last month. for some people, not for all, but for some people with high medical expenses, there is a threshold. your medical expenses have to be 7.5% before those tax expenses are tax deductible.
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that's an individual who spent a good deal of money on medical care that year. you would think that we wouldn't want to punish that person further, but, in fact, that's what we did in this health care bill. we raised that threshold to 10%. people who have a lot of medical expenses will have to spend 10% of their adjusted gross income before they can begin to deduct those expenses from their income tax. we have imposed a new $2,500 cap on people who contribute to their own flexible spending accounts. there is going to be a new annual tax on health insurance policies. new tax on some pharmaceutical. some of those taxes will fall on people who earn under $200,000 a year. how about this? a new excise taxes on medical devices. these are class ii and class iii devices defined by the food and drug administration.
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tongue depressers and band-aids will not be taxed, but syringes will be. who is going to pay that tax? the doctor in the doctor's office because doctors have little way of passing charges onto the patient because most of their arrangements are with medicare or medicaid and they aren't going to pay the tax. it will be difficult to pass the charges because those charges are capped. actually, that will be the physician office that will pay that tax. mr. speaker, everything from lasers to leeches will be taxed that are coming on certain medical devices. what if you earn under $200,000 a year and happen to go to a tanning salon? guess what? a 10% tax on that activity even though i earn under $200,000
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and some tax on self-insured health plans and some of those may fall on people who earn under $200,000 a year. there will be new penalties for non-qualified health savings accounts distributions. people shouldn't take money under their health savings accounts unless it is for a health adventure but rather having that money convert, there will be a double penalty on those types of purchases. and the list goes on and on. the other gentleman did this so i will do the same thing. there are a significant amount of writing. you can't read it, but i did read many of the things that are contained on this page. and get this. get this. all of these additional taxes and what did we hear the other day? someone floated the notion a
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v.a.t. tax as a way to deal with the deficit and some of the increase in federal spending that is going to occur, the consequence of this health care bill we passed. we heard it last spring when we first started talking about this health care bill, some people talked about, some people from the administration came on the sunday show talked about a value-added tax and that was tram pped down quickly. but now that the bill has passed, maybe we will need the v.a.t. tax to pay for it. that would be a tax increase. that will be a tax increase on some individuals who earn under $200,000 a year. there's no question that unless this congress takes some action before the end of the year and quite honestly i don't know when the time and energy will come to do this, but the tax policies enacted in 2001 and 2003 expire at the end of this year. many of those tax policies will affect people who earn under
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$200,000 a year. the expiration of the tax policy means reverts -- we revert back to tax levels that were present in 2001. guess what? that will be a tax increase on people who earn under $200,000 a year. what are we going to do about the death tax? we haven't even talked about that. that is one of those other things that will have to be tackled. time is running out. it is an election year. so it becomes problematic as to whether or not those things will be fixed. mr. speaker, it's often said there's nothing certain in this life except death and taxes. and i will tell you from the standpoint of a physician that sometimes death is less complicated than our tax system. let me give you an example here.
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most of us are familiar with the name sam rayburn because after all, that's who the rayburn building is named for. sam rayburn was my congressman when i was a small child in the north and northeast texas area. he served for a long time. when he first came to congress back in 1913, he was part of the congress that enacted the federal income tax. back in 1913, it was a big bill by standards in those days. 400 pages. but look at what's happened over time. by the end of the second world war, 8,200 pages. by the time the man landed on the moon, 15,000 pages. 1969 when ronald reagan won his second term, 26,000 300 pages. when republicans took control of congress, it was over 40,000
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pages. 2004, 60,000 pages and here we are today, 2010 and it is 71,684 pages long. that's a lot of tax code for people to keep up with. and as the complexity has increased, the costs for individuals to comply with their obligation under the tax code has increased as well. and why has this happened? whose finger prints are all over these pages of the tax code? the fingerprints from people here in the house of representatives, because under the constitution, all revenue bills have to originate with the house of representatives, committee on ways and means, who is charged with that tough duty. and as a consequence of trying
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to apiece one constituency or punish another, we have added pages and pages and pages of complexity to the tax code. i dare say in various committees today there have been proposals discussed that would either punish or reward american citizens because in trying to drive a certain type of behavior, maybe towards green jobs or renewable energy as we did in our committee on energy and commerce today, we are going to drive things in a direction where we want the social transformation to occur and we are going to do that with the tax code. any time we want to punish a special interest group or reward a stake holder, we add a new credit or a new law to the tax code. the result is a federal law that is literally fraught with opportunities for avoiding taxes and there are loopholes within the law that people will
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try to exploit and some will do it quite successfully. and for everyone who exploits a loophole and avoids taxes, some other honest american is going to have to make up that difference or be added to the deficit and that honest american's children or grandchildren are going to pick up the difference. these are thing that are not done without consequence or penalty. . the internal revenue service for the current fiscal year was appropriated $12 million -- almost $12 billion, $11.6 billion, to administer the activities of that federal agency. what's a comparable amount? i'll tell you, that's more than what this country spent in defending itself with the missile defense program. arguably, what may become our first line of defense against a
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rogue state or a nation that means us ill. we spent more on administering the internal revenue service. and guess what? that's only going to increase under the health care bill that passed out of this house a mere three or four weeks ago. in fact, within the health care bill, there are provisions for hiring, i don't remember the number exactly, but i think it was over 16,000 new agents for the internal revenue service. we didn't do much for hiring new doctors or new nurses, but we did add a ton of new i.r.s. agents to administer and enforce the tax code changes incorporated into that bill and as a consequence, you may have to go to h&r block for your prenatal care. the current tax code is a significant burden on all americans, we spend billions of
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hours and billions of dollars complying, and that doesn't even count the billions of hours that we spend complaining about the tax coat. look, the average taxpayer loses about 30% of his or her income to federal, state, and local taxes. that's a greater share of income than is spent on food, clothing, and housing combined. according to the national taxpayers union, in 2009, american families and businesses spent almost $8 -- almost eight billion hours complying with the tax coat. that's eight billion hours they weren't spending with their families or engaged in some productive activity. the cost of all that time spent on complying with the tax code is estimated at in excess of $110 billion. in addition to the lost time, last year, americans paid nearly $30 billion for help preparing their taxes, using either covet ware -- software
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programs or tax professionals, a little more than $200 daughter for the average taxpayer in the course of the year. $200 per person to comply with the tax code doesn't sound like a great deal. but we are in a recession, mr. speaker. americans are struggling to make ends meet who wants to be in favor of making americans waste money they can ill afford? the national taxpayer union estimates the cost for federal tax compliance by corporations is nearly $160 billion. 54% of the corporate income taxes -- which is 54% of the corporate income taxes collected in fiscal year 2008. in other words, we're spending as much to comply with the tax code, or half as much as we are collecting it. the time and money should be spent by families and businesses growing the economy and creating jobs. after all, what's the one thing the american people want us to do this year? they really weren't interested
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in health care. they were interested in national defense but it still falls pretty low on the scale. the one thing they want us to do is to create a climate, create an atmosphere, where small businesses feel comfortable about creating jobs and adding employees. that's what -- that's our number one charge this year. grow the economy and create jobs. it's so simple, i wonder why we can't remember that. a gallup poll out today, tax day, 2010, shows that 63% of americans believe their taxes will increase in the next 12 months. 63% believe their taxes will increase in the next 12 months. find out what obama used in their taxes because he did not. only 4% believes it will not. the tax climate is unsteady for
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americans and that instability, in addition to not being right, that instability is one of the thing that's responsible for the very poor showing we've had with job creation in the last 15 months. now this is some polling done by a group called american solutions. it is from last year. but i think it's still apropos to the discussion at hand. 69% of the people think the federal income tax system is unfair. 70% favor tax incentives for companies who keep their headquarters in the u.s. look at this. 82% of americans think the option of a single rate system would give taxpayers the convenience of filing their taxes with just a single sheet
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of paper. 82%. ronald reagan used to say, those 80% issues are ones he likes to get behind. the fact is, if the system was fair and simple, you probably wouldn't have such a high number of people thinking it's unfair. the fact is, if it was just -- if the system was fair and simple, you wouldn't have those billions of dollars spent in tax compliance. it would be pretty straightforward. i talked a little bit about it in the opening list i went through, to underscore some of the changes people will see this year, as a result of the health care bill passed last month, beginning january 21, 2012, obamacare limits the
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deduction that will raise taxes $15 billion over 10 years. under current law, if out of pocket medical expenses, including health insurance premiums and medical procedures are not covered by health insurance and exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income, they are fully deductible. but it will increase to 10% under the bill we passed. so the most expensive, comprehensive plans don't cover some high-cost procedures, such as in vitro fertilization where the costs can run as high as $20,000 per treatment cycle and some families have multiple cycles within a year. those are the families who are going to be hit. the joint committee on taxation estimates 14.8 million
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taxpayers, 14.7 million of whom will earn less than 200,000 at the time. steve forbes writing in a book a couple of years ago, writing in a flat tax, call "the flat tax revolution," probably still available on amazon, it's an interesting fact that he relates in the book how washington really just doesn't get it. when they write tax law, quoting from the book in 1989. on hypothetical tax increase, raising the top rate to 100% on incomes over $200,000. so just as a study, just as an exercise, let's just see what their projection is if we just
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take all income, every scrap of income away from people who earn over $200,000. the joint committee on continue -- continuing to quote, the joint committee on taxation responded by forecasting increased revenues of $204 billion in 1990, and again, these figures are somewhat old. $204 billion in 1990, increased revenues of $299 billion in 1993. essentially the joint committee on taxation predicted people would continue to work even if the government taxed them out of every pebny they earned. -- every penny they earned. doesn't sound like they're living in the real world, does it if you take every penny someone earn, why will they set their alarm clock and go to work the next day? it's likely not going to happen. a second point quoted in the book, the congressional budget office predicted the 1986 corporate tax rate increase
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would raise government revenues from $89 billion to $101 billion system of over $10 billion because of the increase in the corporate tax rate. but what actually happens, corporations altered business practices and revenues decreased to $84 billion. so instead of getting an additional $10 billion they scored $5 billion less than they would have had they left the tax rate alone. it's tough because americans get that. they understand that. tell the average american, hey, next year, your taxes will be 100% of everything you earn, they'll say, fine, i'm not going to work, see you. but when we think about it in our committees here in congress, we say, well if you tax everybody at 100 pk, yeah, you'll bring in additional revenue. in fact, it'll be significantly increased and the year after that. that's nonsense.
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that's not taking into account fundamental human behavior if you take away everything from someone, they won't show up for work the next day. we know what works when it comes to changing the tax code. we got a glimpse of it when ronald reagan's administration, when he cut the taxes in half in 1986. as a result of that reform, the economy grew, revenues increased, and jobs were created. writing in 2007, the national taxpayer advocate at the time, nina olson, talking about simplifying the tax code is one of her recommendations, and i'm quoting here, the complexity of the code increases the likelihood that honest taxpayers will make inadvertent mistakes, create opportunities for tax payers to avoid paying their fair share of taxes and makes it difficult for the internal revenue service to administration the tax system. simplifying the tax law could
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improve the audit process and allow less of a taxpayer burden. what a phenomenal idea. simplifying the tax law. who could be against that? in 1981 a simple concept put forth by robert hall and albert babushka and revisited by my predecessor in this body, former majority leader dick armey and most recently in the book steve forbes published, the flat tax revolution. all those authors were calling for the same type of tax reform in our tax code. it would be flatter, fairer, and more simpler. so what would it look like if we were to do something like that? flatten the tax, broaden the base? i want everyone to close their eyes and visualize that shoe box or that suitcase full of receipts you took to your accountant and then visualize
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the sheaf of papers you get back from your accountant you'll have to file unless you file online. what if it were -- what it were a great deal more straightforward? what if it were simpler? that blueprint would be the flat tax. in fact, there's been legislation that was introduced early last year, h.r. 1040 for individuals who want to look it up on thomas, h.r. 1040 allows for a person to opt into a single rate tax system. to opt into a flat tax. why would you have it as an optional. why have it as an opt-in? we created this tax code, remember, of many, many thousands, tens of thousands of pages, and we've done that to drive behavior in a certain way. so one of the things you wouldn't want to do is change
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things suddenly. after all, we've encouraged people to comply or to live -- live these very complicated tax lives in order to get the benefits of the tax system so you can't very well just say, we're going to change everything overnight. we could allow people to opt into a single rate system. and i for one would gladly do that even if it meant i paid more taxes. i would do that and give up the shoe box full of receipts i have to go through every year with my accountant. now, a lot of people are concerned about the home mortgage deduction on things like a flat tax. if it's an optional flat tarks you make the decision. the home mortgage deduction in some markets doesn't really amount to as much as it does in other markets. some areas in texas the home mortgage deduction may be as
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little as $1,000 a year in real dollars saved by itemizing and going through that exercise with your taxes. in other words, where real estate prices are quite high, and there are still some of those markets, it may be prudent to take that mortgage deduction. let's give people the option. let's give them the choice. if someone has constructed their finances around being in the i.r.s. code, fine, they may stay there. but if someone wants the freedom to get out from beneath that code we ought to allow them the freedom to do so. we ought to trust americans to be able to make up their own minds on what would work best for them? how would this work? it's really pretty simple. yeah, you are going to need personal information. i know the sensitivities to that with the census right now, but some personal information so that the taxes can be
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properly allocated to the proper individual. . income on one line. interest and dividends would be taxed at the point of origin, not at the point they are received by the individual. personal exemptions and this form was drawn up a couple of years ago. these numbers may, depending upon how incomes have grown, may change a little bit. but essentially, the first $36,000 for a family of four would be exempt from income taxes. married filing jointly, 25,580, single head of household, 16,330. number of depend events multi applied by -- multiplied by
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$510. add those up. taxable income, line four, calculate the tax, multiply line four by.-- .19. what did that take, 45 seconds? i read fast, the print was large. how different is that than what you just went through with your accountant? how different is that from what you've been doing with the tax code? if we gave people the option of simplifying their lives or continuing the tax code, i think that over time you would see so many people leave the code and opt for a simplified system as their lives became more simple and you would no longer have the need for this agency we now know as the i.r.s. it would just simply be a
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collection, a clearinghouse for receiving these forms and tallying up the bills. now, there's no way to calculate -- i went through some of the calculations on the number of hours, the number of dollars. there's no way to calculate, no way to calculate the hours of stress that the current i.r.s. code imposes on average law-abiding americans. it's impossible to calculate or quantify the number of headaches that are caused by trying to keep up with the i.r.s. forms. you know, one of the things that people tell me all the time is that yeah, they want to save money where they can, but one of the things they really want is they want some time back in their lives. how important would that be to give that time that is now devoted to compiling and going through check stubs at the end
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of the year and keeping receipts and chasing papers all over the house and trying to run down expenses that you didn't keep up with and now you are trying to go back and recreate those trails, how about giving all that time back to americans who would prefer to be under a flat tax. you really do eliminate the special preferences. no double taxation of interest and dividends. this bill creates a single-rate structure. no taxes on dividends. no taxes on savings. now -- all our lives we are told we have to save money. and how insulting is that from passbook savings rates are extremely low, but on top of that, you have to pay 25%, 30% of that in income taxes. it erodes the incentive for saving.
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i'll give you an example. when i was in the practice of medicine, i thought at one time, i need to keep three months of what it would cost me to run my practice. i need three months in cash where i could get to it quickly if i needed to in order to keep the wolf from the door, if things weren't going well financially. so i did that. and i got through the year and everything went ok. and what i found was, i was paying the business tax on that money i kept in the business. when that money was eventually distributed to the doctors, it was taxed again. we were doubly taxed on that money. i didn't do that very long because there is no reason to do that. tax the money one time when it is distributed, otherwise, no reason to keep the money in the business. and have to pay taxes on it twice, once when you earn it and once when it's distributed.
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but the behavior behind wanting to keep three months of operating income, operating capital available to me, that was a good concept. that was a sound concept. but the tax code punished me for doing that. the tax code punished me for sound thinking. the tax code punished me for being reasonable. now, the flat tax would also remove the clinton tax on social security earnings. and one of the things that got me thinking about the flat tax. when congressman armey wrote the book in 1995 and introduced legislation, the tax year, 1993, just out of pure co incidence, first year in office, he and i earned about the same amount of money. i think i earned a little bit more, but i may have had a
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better year. what struck me though -- of course the president's income tax filings were public knowledge. that was printed in the newspaper. i did a simple calculation. his salary was x. this was the amount of money he paid in taxes. what percentage did he pay in taxes? and the number was within a percentage point or two was around 21%. i did the same for my taxes. and i paid 31%. that led me to a conclusion that there was within our tax code the clinton paradox. why should two people who earn the same amount of dollars pay a substantially different tax. a flat tax would make sense. no more reward for perhaps a questionable deduction from your income tax and at the same time, we could give people back
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a significant amount of their time and energy during the course of the year with keeping up with receipts and that quality time that we all spend with our accountant every year. so i credit president clinton with making me a believer in the concept of a flat tax, because it really came home at that point. what would happen with the flat tax in you think taxes would increase? it might. businesses would also be taxed at a flat 19% with deductions for good and services and purchase of capital equipment, structures and land. and those expenses would be immediately deductible or those capital outlays or immediately expensed. we saw the power of that in 2003 when the tax policy of 2003 was enacted. you know in 2003, a lot of people don't remember it now,
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but we were having trouble with the unemployment rate being high. i think it was up to 6% or 7%. and it was a terrible thing that it was that high and president bush was to blame for this. and we really needed to hold him accountable for the high unemployment rate. and he did something about it. he did something about it with a change in the tax code. and that was passed in may of 2003. contentious vote when it happened. after it passed, by july of 2003, job creation started on an upward trajectory and really until september of 2008, every quarter, there was an increase in the number of jobs created in this country. we got to create 150,000 jobs every month in this country to keep up with people entering the workforce. that was an important change in
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the tax code. and one of the things it did was allow for immediate expensing of capital outlays rather than a long depreciation schedule in businesses that the cap on capital outlays was increased significantly from $10,000 to $30,000. businesses did improve their businesses and as a consequence, the tax receipts really increased. jobs increased. and it appeared to me that that was a sound way to go about dealing with a downturn in the economy. and mr. speaker, i frankly do not understand while we will not undertake similar policies today with our unemployment rate hovering around 10%. and one of the pernicious aspects of that is that young people just completing their education are ending up in the ranks of the unemployed. and they are losing those early
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productive years which may have a n effect on the remainder of their productive lifetime. any group with whom you speak, regardless of the age, the beginning of the working years in late teens and early 20's, the pre-retirement age or those in between, every one is having difficulty, every one of those groups is having trouble finding work and as a consequence, we are creating what may turn out to be a longitudinal problem that should we take the time to solve it now would be to our benefit. the long-term unemployment numbers are high. the unemployment numbers for minorities are startling high. the unemployment rate for
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people in late teens and early 20's are startling high. why wouldn't we consider something that worked as recently as eight or nine short years ago. in fact, those policies are going to expire and we may well make things worse rather than better. one of the things that i do want to address and we heard this in the last hour on tax day, 2010, are you better off this tax day? and the little cartoon here says, i'm sorry, sir, you can't claim, goldman sachs, a.i.g., wells fargo, freddie mac, fannie mae, gm and chrysler as depend events. are you better off this tax day? you answer the question.
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there is an option that we could take to fundamentally transform the tax system in this country and it would be liberating for individuals and businesses. fundamental tax reform is something that the american people are crying for. 80% from a study a year or two ago want us to do something about that. through both democratic and republican majorities, we have talked about it, but we haven't taken that work on. prarb convened a tax panel -- president bush convened a tax panel during his second term. the result of that was disappointing. the recommendations were all over the place and no one really proposed legislation as a consequence of that tax reform panel. it is incumbent upon this congress, the next congress, regardless of which party is in the majority, it is incumbent
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upon them to come to some realistic conclusion about simplifying the tax code. we have put for too long, put the burden on our citizens, in order to get them to comply with what the previous speaker said is our obligation for living in a free society and that is the payment of income taxes. for too long, we made that too difficult and too onerous and as a consequence we have had a damaging effect on our economy. we would d damaging effect on our economy. we would do people a great service by simplifying the tax code unleashing the american economy, but this economy is too vibrant to keep down for too long. the united states congress is not capable of keeping this economy suppressed. the economy will recovery but it will be morrow bus and prolonged if we create a sensible tax policy to go along with that.
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you have been generous with the time and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the chair recognizes the gentleman from iowa, mr. king, for 60 minutes. mr. king: thank you, mr.
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speaker. it's a privilege and honor to have the opportunity to address you here on the floor of the house of representatives and having listened to my colleague, dr. burgess, speak in the previous segment, in the previous hour, i'll pick up on some things that are on my mind. and see if we can clarify the direction that this nation has taken and the direction this nation needs to go. this is tax day. april 15. this is the day there are a lot of bleary eyes from people who stayed up way into the night trying to do their own taxes. some people who have borrowed money to pay the tax preparer so they can file their taxes on time and we have people who have paid the tax preparer to file an extension because they couldn't get the paperwork in on time. we have a huge amount of american dollars that are invested in paying tax preparers and doing tax
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preparation. i think about economy we have and ask the question, what about the sectors of the economy, is there anything attributed to the economy -- contributed to the economy by paying accountants and i.r.s. agents to collect money? i'll argue that the white house gets it wrong, the president's economic advisors get it wrong, they seem to believe that this economy is a giant chain letter. and if they can just go into the u.s. treasury or borrow from china or borrow from the saudis and dump a few hundred billion or a few trillion dollar into the economy and give a lot of it away and get people to spend the money or do it on contracts and the shovel-ready projects, which has the least amount of demerit to it, some merit to it. they seem to think this stimulates the economy and then we grow. but the flaw in that premise is
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this, that, this economy isn't built on spending. it's not built on something that's viewed by the white house as a giant chain letter where you just dump in hundreds of billions of dollars and somehow we go out and spend money and the economy spins, that's keynesian economy approach. that's the approach keynes rebutted himself back in the 19309s when he said he could solve all the unemployment in the world, remember who canse was. he was an economist who was a contemporary of franklin delano roosevelt. he was credited with being the produce -- with producing the concept that if would have a shrinking economy, you can stimulate it by borrowing money and then the federal government can dump that money into the economy and have it flow through the economy and stimulate it. now john maynard keynes made the remark in the early or mid
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1930's that he could solve all the unemployment in the world, this is how good the approach is,s the author of his own program, he would solve the unemployment this way. if he could just go to an abandoned coal mine and drill holes out there in the coal mine, then take american currency, cash money, greenbacks and bury them in these holes in this abandoned coal mine and keynes went on to say, he'd fill that whole coal mine up with garbage. now we would have an abandoned coal mine with holes punched in it with drill rigs all over the place, presumably in a grid pattern or random pattern, hundreds of -- holes full of cash, garbage piled on top of it. and he said he could solve the unemployment by turn thinking world's entrepreneurs loose to
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dig up the bar gadge and take the cash. that's similar to what you're talking about with the keynesian economics. you try to get people to work, to do things that are make-work. the president himself said, we're not going to pay people to dig a hole and fill it back up. i thought that was an interesting metaphor a way to compare that, since i spent my life digging holes and filling it back up. i can tell you it pays if you're doing it for some purpose that has value. our economy needs to be built on the foundation of increasing productivity. americans have to make things. we have to produce things. we have to expand services so that our economy grows. if you think of it in terms of what it would be like if they were still back in the tribal village and if we didn't have any money to work with and we had to trade, how do we grow wealth? some of us would make bows and arrows, some of us would make the arrow heads and some of the people would skin the hides and make the clothes and pretty
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soon we'd find out some are good at one thing, others at another thing and we'd start to trade the products back and forth. we have clothing and we have weapons and we have utensils and we have gardeners and hunters and people that specialize and after a while this wealth builds because we acquire material goods that increase, first they provide the necessities of life, which the simplistic term is food, clothing, and shelter, then we add our material goods, all of this out of the wealth that comes from producing something with wealth and value. and trading it or selling it and taking the money and buying something from someone else or something -- for something that has value to us. that's how the economy works. it's got to be based on productivity. americans have to build things. we have to make things. here we are on tax day, with these millions of american that was filled out their forms and spent their money to do so so that they can do their bist to comply and a lot of americans don't want to walk close to the
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edge of complying with the i.r.s., they don't want to face an audit. they perhaps pay a little more than taxes than they owe. 58% of americans would rather have a root canal than a tax audit. i didn't ask him if that was without anesthetic. a lot of american people today are very concerned about a potential tax audit. they have to file, drop it in at the last minute, we have post offices that will close at midnight, procrastination will take place, it's not something we enjoy doing this day, this day that the 16th amendment
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enabled all those years ago, was a day that brought tens of thousands of american into this city and they have been demonstrating and rallying and giving speeches and singing "god bless america," these are true patriotic americans that are in this city today, there are 700 locations around america, we're going to try to get a real count on how many americans brought up and brought the new standard of constitutional conservative the new standard is an american flag and a yellow don't tread on me flag to fly. that don't tread on me carries a message that adds to old glory. i'm happy to tell you, mr. speaker, that i have one flying outside my office at 1131 longworth. anyone who walks by there will
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see it. it flies with deference to old glory and supports and defends the principles in the constitution and the principles of america. watching the activities and behaviors at the white house over the last year or so, that they would agree with one of the questions on the naturalization flash cards put out of the -- put out by the imglation service, these are the people who naturalize new immigrants. these postcards a stack about this thick, nice glossy things about like that, i regret i didn't bring one over there. there are 120 or so questions. it will start out on the one side of the flash card, you can read it, it will say, who's the father of our country and you
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snap it over the other way. we know this, mr. speaker george washington. one will say who emancipated the slaves. flip it over, abraham lincoln. here's one that may stump the white house. what's the economic system of the united states of america. flip the flash card over, free enterprise capitalism. huh. haven't seen a rot of that going on out of the white house in quite some time. in fact, when i look at what had been happening out of the white house, it starts with this. at the tail end of the bush administration, with the full support and endorsement of then-candidate and united states senator barack obama, and later president, we saw secretary of the rshry henry paulsen come to this capitol, september 19, 2008, and he came into our closed door session and he said, you need to give me $700 billion and need to give it to me now, and if you ask any questions or if you try to amend my request in any way,
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you'll mess up the works. but what's bound to happen, what could be happening is we could see a meltdown of the global currency and the collapse in collateral an confidence and see the entire world money supply fall apart if they lose confidence system of he said give me $700 billion, give it to me now. if you have any ideas, they will not be as good as his own ideas. he said that he'd been watching this now for, i believe he said 13 months, and we had only been watching it for 24 hours, some had, therefore his ideas were a lot better than hours and his should not be questioned and to come to this congress and ask for $700 billion of the taxpayers' money, without an assurance that his plan if he carried it out and got the money, would work. that was the tarp proposal. $700 billion. congress eventually authorized and appropriated $350 billion in one chunk and early october,
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i believe it was, of 2008, and then another $350 billion to be re-authorized by the next congress, people to be elected later, abriveed people to be elected later, approved by a president to be elected later and a secretary of the treasury to be confirmed after his tax problems later that started this. $700 billion in tarp. we saw in rapid fire succession behind that came the nationalization of three large investment banks, government takeover of three large investment banks. then we saw, while this was going on, government takeover of the insurance company, mr. speaker. a.i.g. to the tune of about $180 billion dumped in because, remember, these entities are entities that are too big to be allowed to fail. now, that's a new concept for america. we never had that concept before. of all of our history books and the current documents, i know of no place where we'd come to
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a conclusion that the businesses were too big to be allowed to fail and so therefore we were going to prop them up with taxpayer dollars. that's what happened. $700 billion in tarp. three large investment banks nationalized, taken over by the federal government, a.i.g. taken over by the federal government. fannie mae and freddie mac taken over by the federal government. and locked into that full nationalization by executive order of the president, right before christmas last year. and that saddled the american taxpayers with a $5.5 trillion contingent liability in addition to the capital that had to go in to prop up fannie and freddie. never mind the people that got rich out of that, including the chief of staff at the white house. we don't know what happened. the chairs of the committees here control the investigations of the congress. but we saw. we saw $700 billion in tarp.
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a.i.g. nationalized, fannie mae and freddie mac nationalized. they elected some folks that understand high finance better than they do. this is a constitutional republic and we are to elect people to this congress that hold the american people our best judgment -- that owe the american people our best judgment and best effort. they trusted we had more access to information and would use our good judgment. but when the federal government got into the nationalization of general motors and chrysler, all almost simultaneously, the american people began to use their -- lose their faith in the judgment of the white house and their congress and their government. people in investment banking and high finance and insurance, or the fannie mae component of
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this, the american people understand cars. we love our cars. we especially love our american-made cars. we love them, we drive them, we fix them we show them, we collect them and we make them. and we know that if you want to make an automobile and sell a lot of them, it takes a lot of dealers to sell them. anybody's intuition can tell them if you go out in your garage, up in the attic and you invent the master widget and you patent that master widget and decide you're going to sell it across the country, what you do easily is first lock down your patent, set up manufacturing so you can meet the demand and then go out an set up dealers. . you have to promote your dealers. but when the federal government came in with a bankruptcy settlement that cut the number of dealers by 3,400 dealers in
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america, the american people know that the auto makers didn't have a financial burden with the auto dealers. they owned their franchise, supported themselves and supported the services and for the white house to decree that there was going to be 3,400 dealers that got shut down in america, not only was that an unjust taking of the property rights of their france chase, but it also brings about sales of less automobiles. you can't sell more cars with fewer dealers, even though they'll say we had bigger and better dealers that were healthier. that's not the point. a lot of car dealers are face-to-face, neighborhood, niche marketing, that goes on, a lot of that got shut down and the american people saw that
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and they lost their faith in the judgment of the white house, this congress and the federal government and began to pay attention. and we saw a bankruptcy term that was dictated by the white house. and when that was presented to the bankruptcy courts there wasn't a change made by that court. they accepted the terms that were dictated by the white house. we had a car czar at the white house at 31 years old that never sold a car, fixed a car and if he owned one, i don't know if it was an american car. all of this brings a high degree of nervousness. and then they see the president of the united states go down there and do his gland hand with hugo chavez of venezuela. when i saw them standing by side, the old buddy handshake, looked at that and they asked me on a "washington journal" program, what that made me
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think, i thought a lot of the things that other people thought, but i also thought that chavez is a nationalizer of the businesses he has taken over in venezuela and the rice plant not too long ago, he is a piker when it comes to our ppt. three national banks, a.i.g. nationalized, freddie mac and fannie mae, formerly private, nationalized. general motors nationalized. chrysler nationalized. the c.e.o. of general motors, fired and replaced by the president of the united states. the president of the united states appoints all but two of the board members of general motors and the shareholders, secured creditors, saw their assets in those companies wiped out, even though they were secured assets, they wiped them out and handed over ownership
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17.5% of general motors over to the unions and the speaker of the house made the statement that she would not give bargaining leverage to the auto makers over the unions and that's the way it shook out. the unions got bargaining units. and the united states have an ownership share at least in general motors to a significant amount, 17.5% is my recollection. and then on top of that, if you are the federal government and running a car company like general motors or chrysler, you are also running the regulatory organization. so i'm not suggesting that i know anything that the american people don't know about what might have brought about the intense scrutiny of toyota that cost them at least zhrrs 16 million fine for their throttle
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and untold amount of publicity on their throttle and a number of other things. i have the american people come to me and ask me if that intense scrutiny of the regulators on toyota couldn't have something to do with the need of the federal government to see general motors and chrysler succeed perhaps more. i don't have any evidence that would suggest that, but the appearance of impropriety exists, mr. speaker. and the american people don't want to see 1/3 of their private sector activity nationalized and taken over by the federal government. but that's what's happened. 1/3 of the private sector activity swallowed up in those eight entities that i talked about. by the way, tail end, $787 billion in this thing called the economic stimulus plan, of which 6% of americans think actually worked.
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94% believe that it didn't help and didn't do any good. now this is a pretty sick scenario. $787 billion in economic stimulus plan. eight huge national entities nationalized. these are private entities that are nationalized. 1/3 of the private sector activity nationalized. and now where are we? now we get to obamacare and obamacare is another 18% that was formerly private. now it's under the federal government, commanded, controlled and regulated and yes, some will say that these are private insurance companies and it's not the federal government, but the federal government will effectively cancel every health insurance policy in america and re-authorize only those that meet the new standards that will be written, not the standards that we have today. and the options that the
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american people will have will be diminished, not increased. american freedom will be diminished and not increased. the costs will go up for these premiums because the federal government will impose more and more mandates on these health insurance policies. they will require every health insurance policy covers contraceptives and covers mental health and they'll require piece after piece after piece. and one of these will require the health insurance policies cover the children up to age 26. hmmm. i didn't raise my family that my children would be grown up by age 26. we would like to keep them longer around than that and transition them, but we don't need the supernanny federal government setting a 26-year standard because someone in this congress thought it was a
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good idea. i had a young man come to me at the tea party rallies, he said i'm 23 years old, don't you want me to have insurance until i'm 26? i said no. you are not one at 23? why 26? why not 28? why not 32? why not all the way to medicare eligibility, and then you've got the whole thing covered. this is the mentality. this is a president who believes in single payer. he said so over and over again. hillary care was single payer. that means the federal government pays it all. they got all they got to toss us into the abyss of socialized medicine. went as far as they could go. they impose a bill on the american people that obamacare
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bill that about three weeks ago passed off the floor of this floor and went to the white house. on the day it passed this floor and went to the white house, could not pass the united states senate. on the merits of the bill, it looked like it couldn't pass the house. but nevertheless, obamacare became the law of the land and going to take four years to implement the socialized medicine policy, but immediately the tax increases kick in. and so i lay out a better sequence, i think, mr. speaker, and it is this. the american people are rising up. they have filled this capital city up time and time again. they did so on november 5 of last year, november 7. did so the previous 9/12, the 9/12 project group. hundreds of thousands came to this city and doing it again this coming september and other
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rallies across this country. the tens of thousands that are in this city are multiplied by 700 locations, thousands and thousands of people will add up into the millions that will come to the streets and say, i have had enough. i have had enough of watching my country run into the ditch and had enough of watching this overspending that is irresponsible increase in spending without regard to try to balance the budget or any sense of fiscal responsibility. if you want something for your constituents and sit on appropriations committee or in tight with the speaker or has someone on the staff that can write that number for you, the spending just comes. and we will see again no appropriation bills probably come out of this house. no budget probably come out of this house, because if we pass the budget however irresponsible the budget is, it is still a spending constraint
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and debate point. they are going to avoid a budget and spend all the money, but they have trouble, because there is an election coming and the american people are get savvy. we will see a continuing resolution or several of them that deal with these appropriations components. kick the can down the road. then there will be an election in early november. and i think they come back with an omnibus spending bill that will take these c.r.'s and stack it up in 3,600 pages and someplace between $500 billion or $1 trillion will get spent and won't be any amendments allowed and a limited amount of debate and once again the american people will not have the opportunity to scrutinize what's going on here in this house of representatives. and i suggest this. i have a bill that's called the cut act, to cut the unnecessary
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tab is what cut stands for, cut the unnecessary tab. there is a spiral that is naturally built into this system. the president proposes his spending. the house by constitution has to start the spending here. if the house doesn't want to say no to the president of the united states, they just simply take the president's proposed budget and add the things into it that they want and send it over to the senate, who doesn't want to say no to the president and doesn't want to say no to the speaker of the house or the will of the house. and so they simply accept the spending that's come from the president, increased by the house and they stack their spending goodies on top of that and the senate's really good on adding lots of billions of dollars on and has to come back to the house where the speaker will not want to say no to the senate or the president again. so it will jack up the spending again and the bill will go to
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the president's desk and we'll go deeper into debt. that's the spending spiral that happens when you have a ruling party. that's when the president of the united states, the speaker of the house and the majority leader in the united states senate all of the same party, all the supermajorities, harry reid is one short of that supermajority over there, the three of them could go into a phone booth and decide what they want to do to or for america. and what has happened is a sad, sad state of affairs, indeed. irresponsible spending, obamacare, unconstitutional in a whole number of ways, no budget coming forth, the tax cuts that were so important in stimulating our economy back in 2003, that would be those cuts that were signed into law may 28, 2003, the second half of the bush tax cuts. those tax cuts are set to expire at the end of this year.
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right now, mr. speaker, it is a good year to die because there is no inheritance tax, however, it goes back to a super high rate the first of next year and no action has been tain. and even though we have an extender's package there is no thing in there. when the government put out the message that was -- we want to see renewable fuels developed in an industry and to replace at least in part gasoline -- we built the ethanol industry, the biodiesel industry. in fact, the first legislation that i introduced as a new member of congress was that blender diesel. those plants with hundreds of millions of dollars invested
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and hundreds of thousands of employees all together have shut down many of them, perhaps all of them in my state are shut down. and they are being mothballed and silenced where there was 24/7 and now it's silenced. you might hear a cooling fan running there. it's about it. they have to make a decision on whether they walk away and cut their employees loose and leave their unemployed or whether they try to stay in and this congress has an obligation to turn that card over and get that blenders' credit passed so that the 14 plants that i know of in iowa that are shut down, that are viable with it, can get up running again. one of those plants is being dismantled and shipped to india. .
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i make this point to the speaker and the environmentalists who are in this congress if it's your idea to have new fuels such as sugar cane based or whatever it might be, unless we have a viable first generation, which we have built, and it's not viable today without the credit if we don't have viable first generation fuels, we won't be able to build a second generation. and you cannot attract capital to the industry if the government doesn't keep their word. it's gone on since the first day of this year, this is the 15th of april. that's january, february, march and half of april and all of those have been money-losing weeks who stepped -- for those who stepped forward to do the bidding of the government. i hope we get that turned around and do so soon and send that component, at least, to the president. it's a responsibility and it's
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irresponsible to kick the can down the road. mr. speaker, i take us back to obamacare and what is the solution. first, i think i should go through a list of some of the things that are wrong. half a trillion cut in medicare, punishes our seniors. i represent, i believe, the most senior congressional district in america. a half trillion cut. and what happens? aarp, the american association of retired persons, or people, cut a deal with the white house to support a half a trillion dollar cut to the benefits to their members, and why? i think it's because the bill mandates that the people buy insurance and aarp is in the insurance business. i don't know that, but i'd sure like to hear the straight story about what went on with the president and rahm emanuel and the representatives of aarp. i'd like to know what went on with the health insurance companies and why so many of them supported this. this goes -- this is anathema to their beliefs.
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could they have just concluded that the federal government is going to compel everybody to buy health insurance, therefore it's a bigger market for them? and why would they -- why would they feed the alligator, hoping they get eaten last? haven't they seen the pattern? do i need to explain this, mr. speaker? ok, i will. i'm glad you nodded in the affirmative. that would be this. back in the 1960's, i think the year would have been 1962 and 1963, we had at that time all the property and casualty flood insurance in america was private. not government. and because we'd had some floods, there was an argument in the congress that the federal government should provide competition in the flood insurance business. and so, the federal flood insurance program began just to keep the insurance companies honest and make sure they could provide the flood insurance that was necessary in the
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floodplains we had. so one would think the federal government would set up a company and sell insurance and the other companies would get more competitive, leaner, meaner, more of them and we'd have good flood insurance in america. but what happened was the federal government squeezed out 100% of the private sector property and casualty flood insurance so that today, mr. speaker, if you want to buy flood insurance for your home or office or your factory or your farm or whatever it might be, you have no choice but to buy that flood insurance that's provided by the federal government. that's what's happened. 100% of the private sector in 1962 and over a number of years, the federal government swallowed up all of the private sector flood insurance. now, one might say this is anomaly. it really isn't a pattern, it was a circumstance, it had special circumstances involved wit system of we can't
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anticipate that the federal government will swallow up the health insurance industry. here is the definitive irony, and that is this. years ago, about the time i was going to college, anyway, i believe that all of our student loans were private. not government. and then government decide they wanted to get into the business so they took a chunk of the student loans over. they said, we don't want to own it all we don't want to run the whole thing. we want to provide competition because that will make everybody better. i don't know why anyone would think the private secor doesn't provide enough competition. i'll talk about that in a moment, mr. speaker. when the federal government got involved in the student loan business, only to provide some competition and do -- into a segment of the market and let them compete against each other a lot of us said no, the federal government is positioning themselves to take over 100% of the student loan
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program. it hasn't been denied this congress since nancy pelosi picked up the gavel. he'll tell you he's been honest about that. in any case, that's what happened, written in to the reconciliation package of obamacare was the final nail in the coffin for anything except federal student loan program. the private stuff was all swallowed up. it's wrapped up, packaged up, and wiped out. so we have -- we have examples before us, flood insurance, formerly 100% private. federal government got involved in that, now it's 100% government. you have the student loan program that was formerly 100% private, the federal government got involved in that, now it's 100% government. and here we are, the health insurance program, where the president of the united states has consistently said that we
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don't have enough competition in the health insurance industry system of we just wanted to start one more company a federal health insurance company, just to provide some competition. no, it wouldn't ever replace those other companies. here are some facts i mentioned i would bring out a few minutes ago. when obamacare passed, we had 1,100 health insurance companies in america. 1,100. that's not a mistake. it's not a decimal point out of line. we have, or at least a couple or three weeks ago, had that many companies. 1,100. 1,100 health insurance companies selling right in the neighborhood of 100,000 possible insurance -- health insurance policy variations. so if you go shopping out there, 1,100 companies, 100,000 policies and 50 states, and yes, you can't all buy in all
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those because buying insurance across state lines is not something that's been accepted system of simply, if you wanted more competition, you would allow people to buy insurance across state lines and end this question. but the president's idea was to create federal competition because what happens is when the federal government gets involved, then they -- then they turn in and subsidize and when they subsidize, then the private -- the private sector can't compete with them. a little known tidbit fact, the federal flood insurance program that they run 100% of now is $19 billion in the red. so the premiums don't reflect the risk and people continue to build in the floodplains out of proportion to the high risk that's there. and we have more and more property that we have to protect with federal taxpayer dollars and it just snowballs and it gets worse and worse and worse. obamacare drives up costs, it
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will reduce quality, it discourages doctors and health care providers. doctors in america may not be on suicide watch but they're assigned to only use plastic silverware and it's hard to conduct surgery with that, so it's been hard on health care providers. the freedom and the liberty component of this is the worst part. when we think, mr. speaker, that ever since 1973, the people on that side of the aisle, call it the left side of the aisle, primarily, and a few on our side, made the argument that roe v. wade is settled law and a woman has a right to an elective abortion under any circumstances and the government has no business telling a woman what she can or can't do with her body. well, the government has no business telling a woman what she can or can't do with her body. that argument was made by men and women, almost everybody on that side of the aisle. a few of the people on this
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side of the aisle. pretty interesting point. federal government has no business telling a woman what she can or can't do with her body. now the same people that made this argument since 1973, now they're saying to us, well the federal government has every right to tell everyone in america what they can or can't do with their body, and that includes thou shall buy a government-approved health insurance policy or sign up for medicaid and we'll make sure we can give you a stipend if you don't have he money and we'll tax you if you do have the money and if you're an employer with 50 or more employee, you have to make sure they all have government-approved health insurance and if you're an employer with 49 employees, thou would be stupid to hire the 50th one, so we'll see a lot of small businesses that'll reach that level of growth and stop. they might go out and create another entity and roll some employees into that and stop, and we will not just see all
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kinds of machinations of business con fission rations for the purposes of tax delay or avoidance driven by this tax day and the i.r.s., but we're going to see also business models that are configured in order to avoid the federal mandate because the federal mandate requiring people to provide health insurance because they're an employer, it's amoral and it's unjust and it's impractical and will create convoluted business arrangements. what i'm for, mr. speaker, is abolishing obamacare, repealing obamacare. i introduced a bill to repeal obamacare. congresswoman michelle bachmann also introduced a bill to repeal obamacare. they happen to be verbatim in their language, parker griffith and some others have one. i'm for all of them. i want to work with all of them and everybody else that has a bill.
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but it's interesting that the 2,700 pages of obamacare that nobody read it all, i don't believe. if they did they didn't understand it all. i have a bill that i drafted that addresses this and it's far better than the one they put in. i ask the republicans to sit and listen while i read through my bill, every word of it and i asked them to pay attention and not lose their concentration. i read the 40 words. not 2,700 page, not 40 titles, not 40 pages, not even a page, 40 words on a page that essentially says, we peal -- repeal obamacare, every bit of it, pull it out by the roots. i'll embellish beyond the language, take it out, repeel it lock, stock and barrel, pull it out, root and branch, make sure there's not a vestige or remnant of any d.n.a. particle
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of obamacare left in the federal code because this policy that was and had become a toxic stew that was now force fed to the american people has become a malignant tumor in our society. what we do with tumors is pull them out by the roots, cut out the entire tumor and if there happens to be tissue around the edge, it's better to err on that side than to leave some malignant cells left. there's not one single part of obamacare that should be retained. i expect to have a discharge petition at the well. so that we can send a repeal bill out of the house of representatives. hopefully the senate can pick this up as well.
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we can get it there, it's a hard task to get it there, anything to is possible. anything is possible, scott brown is in the united states senate today. knowing that northern iowa beat kansas in the ncaa tournament, i'm confident there's a chance we can repeal obamacare in this congress. we put the marker down and then in november, we have an election. and the president is fond of saying push the reset button. i think what we have in america today is millions of people that are in a different place politically than the administration is. a lot of them had bush fatigue, wanted to shift the way we do business. some of them and a lot of them now have buyer's remorse for what they did. you have the newly activated constitutional conservatives across this full spectrum of people from 912 project group,
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the independents that are newly activated, the republicans that are in greater numbers, and constitutional conservatives and all of that. and mr. speaker, they intend to make a difference. i intend to make a difference with them but they will -- those i described represent the new majority makers in america, the heart of the heartland and the values that flow from there that index from california to massachusetts and to the northeast and the northwest and the southeast and beyond. this congress today doesn't represent the will of the american people. 2-1 they o-- two to one they oppose obama care. it's the law of the land today and can and must be repealed, every single bit of it, and there's no excuse for those who voted no on obamacare to be anything except in favor of full repeal of obamacare.
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and then, after this congress has reset at the election in november, and the swearing in of the new congress on january 3, 2011, we exert the will of the american people. . when that happens, we will have on record, the will of the united states congress, the united states senate and have the opportunity then with the appropriations bill to refuse to allow any of the appropriated funds to be used to implement obamacare. and we will be able to with the simple majority where all spending has to start by constitution and shut off the implementation of obamacare and we can do that for 2011 and send another repeal bill to the president's desk which he'll likely veto. and in 2012 do the same thing
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for the appropriations cycle, so there is not a shred of obamacare that gets implemented, not in 2011 and 2012 and new presidential election in 2012 and we'll have a new president and a president that will sign a repeal of obamacare and we'll put it on his desk in january or february of 2013 and we can begin the process then of real health care reform. and we need to do it, mr. speaker, not with a big republican bill. not like the 2,700-page obama care bill. we need to move down the line one after another, clear stand-alone pieces of legislation that actually fix this problem and reform it in a way that the free market and the doctor-patient relationship is improved and the trial lawyers are going to have to
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give up a lot and we'll go right on down the line, stand-alone pieces of legislation and you will tly implement free-market reforms and do that before obamacare takes in effect because they don't take effect until 2014. what we can do is go through the sequence of repeal obamacare. when the majority shut off the funding for the implementation of obamacare, run a new election, expand the majority in the house and senate, elect a new president and repeal obamacare, pull it completely out by the roots, not one single particle, we can do all of that, mr. speaker, and still bring real reforms and put them in place and have them up and running and the american people
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will have their freedom and liberty, and that is the most egregious violation from a constitutional perspective, obamacare is unconstitutional in several ways. one, there is nothing in the powers that grants this body to establish obamacare. and it's a violation of the commerce clause. people that have born, lived and died that don't participate in health care at all, that would be compelled to buy a product produced by the federal government for the first time in history. and there is no example to the contrary in spite of what some of the people have tried to argue. and it's a violation of the equal protection clause, people in florida are treated differently than people in texas. it's not the cornhusker kickback. there is a strong argument on
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equal protection violation and there is a 10th amendment violation that these powers need to be reserved for the states or the people respectively not the big reach of the federal government. all of this needs to happen and we can do this and we will have the leadership in this country and in this congress to get it done. and i see that we have a strong leader from east texas, my friend, judge gohmert. and i would be happy to yield so much time as the gentleman from texas may consume while noting that we have about 10 1/2 minutes left. mr. gohmert: one of the most heartbreaking aspects of this health care bill that was crammed down the throats of americans, majority of whom were begging and pleading and demanding not to pass it, but
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it was the aspect of the increased taxes at a time when we're in a recession. we could not afford increased taxes, which was going to bring about an end to more jobs. we couldn't afford what was in the bill, which meant that people were going to be laid off. it meant that people were going to have salaries cut. it meant that people were going to lose their health care insurance, because whoever's staffer or the special interest groups, all those folks thanking worked on this thing, that they knew a number of things. first of all, of course, a staffer in leadership that helped draft it made sure that the leadership staff was not included in the mandate for members of congress and their sfaffs to have to -- staffs to
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have to participate in the federal program. so they knew they didn't want to be part of it. but then here we are in a recession. it should be all about jobs. it should be about careers and helping people get back employment so that once they have the jobs, they got employment, they can do the things they used to do to help drive the economy. go back to the store and pick up something to wear. go back to a restaurant and get something to eat and that feeds those that work in the restaurant and the cycle goes on. but instead, the increased taxes, $500 billion over 10 years, $50 billion a year average, employers were telling us in advance of the vote, if you do this, it's going to cost us billions of dollars across the country.
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we are going to have to lay people off. we are going to have to cut people's salaries and drop their health care insurance. in the bill, you've got a provision that if you're considered not a small business, meaning less than 50 workers, then you got a choice. you either provide the mandated health insurance at the level required or you pay a $2,000 fine. and there's a little gimmick in there that you deduct 30 from the number of employees. if you got 50, you deduct 30 and pay $40,000 or you buy health insurance for all 50 employees. $40,000 less than the $1,000 per employee or health insurance for 50.
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it's a no-brainer. so many businesses with the added taxes in this bill are already saying, we have to make cuts some where. if we can get away with only paying $40,000 instead of paying for insurance times 50 employees, that's what we're going to do. that doesn't ininsure. in fact, it will throw more than that off of their health insurance. if you like your health insurance, you'll keep it. people all across america heard that over and over. and apparently, it simply was not true. the only question is did the person making those statements know that they were not true when they were made or did it become a matter of convenience to strip everybody's health insurance at a later date?
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either way, it was grossly unfair to all of the people who did like their health insurance. reforms needed to be made, no question. we all agree on that. we could have worked together to provide those reforms. and instead, we have a monstrosity of a bill that simply got crammed through everybody's throats. that is what is most troubling. i have already gotten calls, gotten emails. i'm hearing people say they have been laid off. a family member's been laid off and been told they are going to have to cut their salaries? why? because we rushed this health care bill and rammed it through without most of the people in this body without bothering to read it. i read enough to know that this is a disaster for america.
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but if you're into government controlling everything, then you got to love it because it's going to have more government. 17,000 i.r.s. agents monitoring everybody to make sure they are complying with the insurance requirements. how amazing, though, we hear from our friends across the aisle. we're concerned about the hard-working poor in america. guess what if you make under 133% of the poverty level when this disaster six in in 2013, 2014. you aren't going to have a choice. you will be thrown into medicaid, the very thing that doctors, -- i heard walgreens say they aren't taking medicaid prescriptions and dock tars
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saying they can't make a profit so they aren't taking medicaid. what a disaster for america. this needs our attention. but the heartbreaking aspect i keep coming back to, people didn't have to lose their job, lose their insurance, businesses didn't have to pay this much more tax. but we rushed it through. and i come back to a quote by george washington, who said government is not reason. it is not eloquence. it is force, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. when this government was designed by our founders, it was never intended to be the master of people. the people were meant to be the masters of this government.
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and this bill has thrown this out of whack just as the gentlewoman is recognized washington and our founders anticipated and requires the actions of americans running to the sound of legislation to help prevent any more from this fearful master, as george washington put it. and i yield back. mr. king: i thank the gentleman from east texas coming this time of the night. i know it has been a long day. rallies all across the city and the country and 700-plus of those. we want a smaller government, not a larger government. we want a constitutional government. number one priority that's being asked of us is to cite the sections of the constitution that grant us the authority and every bill we introduce in this congress, i have never done that. but i think it's a very good
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idea. i have cited it when it comes to the time. i'm going to pay attention to that. i think it's a very good idea. the thing that seems to draw the most mindset, full repeal of the obamacare. we know that obamacare is unconstitutional, unfundable, unsustainable. and mr. speaker, it is unfor giveable to do this to the american people. the american people will not forget or forgive and those that do support in this new majority that is being driven by the constitutional conservatives, had better keep their word. when they give their oath, the new freshman class, which will be a large one, they better take their oath seriously. many of my colleagues do the same one. it's a ser o